No truly great hot hatch can be referred to as such without sporting a suitably tasty interior. With the Corsa VXR, Vauxhall has constructed a cabin as good in some areas as it is bad in others.

We like the clarity of the dashboard, think the standard-fit Recaro seats (complete with side airbags) are superb, and appreciate the strong basic packaging of the three-door bodyshell, including its rear seats and boot.

Nic Cackett

Nic Cackett

Road tester
Side airbags in the front seats is a pleasing sight

But some of the minor details, most of which have been applied in the same VXR branding, are less successful. Such as the deeply naff VXR-logoed gear lever and the gimmicky flat-bottomed steering wheel, which neither looks nor feels anything like the steering wheel of a Golf GTI.

The Recaros are excellent and the basic driving position is sound, but some testers found the seats don't adjust low enough. The rest of the ergonomics are very good: the instruments are clear to read day and night and the controls are sensibly positioned. The gearlever however, is truly awful.

Then again, you can’t really argue against the VXR’s showroom appeal. But incremental price rises means that, despite the decent level of standard equipment it provides it is becoming a pricey alternative.

Top 5 Hot hatchbacks

Find an Autocar car review

Explore the Vauxhall range

Driven this week

  • DS 3 Crossback 2019 road test review - hero front
    19 July 2019
    Car review
    French premium brand gets PSA’s new supermini platform first. Does it deliver...
  • BMW 318d front three quarters on the road
    18 July 2019
    First Drive
    Entry-level diesel is likeable addition to range but doesn't live up to...
  • MG ZS EV 2019 UK first drive review - hero front
    17 July 2019
    First Drive
    Cheap, spacious and all-round endearing electric version of MG's ZS soft...

Find an Autocar car review

Explore the Vauxhall range

Driven this week

  • DS 3 Crossback 2019 road test review - hero front
    19 July 2019
    Car review
    French premium brand gets PSA’s new supermini platform first. Does it deliver...
  • BMW 318d front three quarters on the road
    18 July 2019
    First Drive
    Entry-level diesel is likeable addition to range but doesn't live up to...
  • MG ZS EV 2019 UK first drive review - hero front
    17 July 2019
    First Drive
    Cheap, spacious and all-round endearing electric version of MG's ZS soft...